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Navy and Marine Corps Medical News 


October 27, 2000 

Navy and Marine Corps Medical News (MEDNEWS) is a weekly 
compendium of news and information contributed by commands 
throughout the Navy medical department . Information contained in 
MEDNEWS stories is not necessarily endorsed by Navy Bureau of 
Medicine and Surgery (BUMED) , nor should it be considered 
official Navy policy. 

BUMED distributes MEDNEWS to Sailors and Marines, their 
families, civilian employees and retired Navy and Marine Corps 
families. Further distribution is highly encouraged. 

Stories in MEDNEWS use these abbreviations after a Navy 
medical professional 's name to show affiliation: MC — Medical 
Corps (physician) ; DC - Dental Corps; NC - Nurse Corps; MSC - 
Medical Service Corps (clinicians , researchers and 
administrative managers) . Hospital Corpsmen (HM) and Dental 
Technician (DT) designators are placed in front of their names. 

Contents for this week's MEDNEWS: 

- DoD winning 30-year war against drugs in the ranks 

— TRICASE Prime clinics celebrate first year of success 

— Chaplain corps launches high-tech ministry 

— NH Bremerton wins at joint medical Olympics 

— Anesthesiologist is a wonder who puts Sailors under 

- Great Lakes pulls together for disaster drill 

- TRICARE question and answer 

- Healthwatch: Nutritious reading benefits health 

Headline: DoD winning 30-year war against drugs in the ranks 
By Gerry J. Gilmore, American Forces Press Service 

WASHINGTON - The incidence of service members using illegal 
drugs is at a 20— year low, evidence that DoD is winning the war 
against drug abuse in its ranks — a conflict that began during 
the Vietnam War. 

Ana Maria Salazar, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense 
for Drug Enforcement Policy and Support, noted that drug use by 
DoD personnel is down 90 percent compared to two decades ago. 
Just 2.6 percent of all service members reported drug use within 
the 30 days preceding their response to a 1998 survey, she said. 
More than 27 percent of respondents in a 1980 survey said they 
used illegal drugs in the preceding 30 days. 

"Overall, the use of illegal drugs by service members is 

down. Drug use has decreased every year since we started 
monitoring it in 1980, " said Salazar. 

She pointed to the effectiveness of substance abuse 
education programs, DoD's zero tolerance policy toward drug use, 
pre-employment and random drug testing. 

"Drug use is incompatible with military service. Not 
tolerating drug use is the cornerstone of our deterrence 
program, " she said. "Our system identifies users and ensures 
that they are punished. This approach deters drug use by other 
service members and promotes readiness . " 

Salazar noted that drug use "has always been a national 
security concern" that affects both the Defense Department and 
civilian society. 

According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, 
illegal drugs cost the national economy $110 billion in expenses 
and lost revenue in 1995. 

"Drug use by service members threatens their readiness to 
defend our nation, " said Salazar. "Drug use by society in 
general damages our ability as a nation to have a strong economy 
with citizens who are focused on healthy lifestyles . This, in 
itself, threatens security. " 

Throughout "the post-Vietnam era" of the 1970s and early 
1980s, many young Americans — military and civilian — 
experimented with illegal drugs like marijuana, LSD and cocaine. 
DoD had been conducting drug tests on service members since 
1971, in large part to identify and treat heroin addicts who had 
picked up the habit in Southeast Asia, said Salazar. 

"Drug users are more prone to have accidents, to use poor 
judgment and more likely to injure themselves and others, " said 
Salazar. "DoD must encourage its members to become active in 
drug education and community support, " said Salazar. Each of the 
services manages programs that distribute information on the 
dangers of drug use, she said. 


Headline: TRICARE Prime clinics celebrate first year of success 
From Naval Medical Center Portsmouth 

PORTSMOUTH, Va. -A single candle lighting their cake 
speaks not just of a time elapsed, but also of the colossal 
success of TRICARE Prime Clinics Boone, Oceana, Virginia Beach 
and Chesapeake, as the four clinics celebrate their first 
anniversary this month. 

Naval Medical Center Portsmouth was given a challenge to 
convert contractor operated clinics to government-owned clinics. 
"To transfer care of more than 70, 000 TRICARE Prime enrollees 
without interruption, match or exceed the enrollees 
satisfaction, and stay within current contract costs, " were the 
guiding principles, according to Lt. Cmdr. Wilfredo Sarthou, 
project officer for the conversion. 

Within one year, the TPCs increased enrollment, expanded 
hours and services, saved millions, and achieved unmatched 
patient satisfaction ratings. The driving force for these 
accomplishments has been the staff's strong commitment to go 
beyond customer satisfaction 

The clinics provide a full range of primary care services 
to active duty family members, retirees and their family 
members. "We support the readiness mission through family 
readiness, " said Lt. Cmdr. Phillip Jackson, TPC Chesapeake 
Officer in Charge. "In order for active duty members to be ready 
to deploy, they need to feel comfortable with whom they are 
entrusting their family health care, " he said. 

Among the services provided to 75, 000 current TRICARE Prime 
enrollees at these facilities are general health screening, 
medical care for acute and chronic conditions, immunizations, 
optometry, laboratory, radiology and screening mammography. To 
increase access and convenience, the clinics offer extended 
hours . 

The key to make all this happen is the staff. "We have an 
integrated staff. Whether nurse or physician, civil service or 
contractor, we work as team to provide the best care possible, " 
said Cmdr. Peter Kopacz, Branch Clinic Oceana Officer in Charge. 

Another important element for the TRICARE Prime Clinics ' 
impressive performance is a swift and effective performance 
improvement program with a variety of feedback systems in place, 
which allows customers and staff to make suggestions and propose 
changes . 

Another goal is to increase wellness and health promotion 
services offered at the clinics. Smoking cessation, weight 
management and other illness prevention programs are in the 
clinics leadership target . 

Providing better care to more customers at a lesser cost is 
a dynamic mission that requires constant improvement to meet 
customers needs. These TRICARE Prime Clinics are committed to a 
road to success that is under permanent construction. 


Headline: Chaplain Corps launches high— tech ministry 
From Bureau of Medicine and Surgery 

WASHINGTON - ChaplainCare is a new Fleet- focused 
interactive and informational web site recently launched by the 
Navy Chaplain Corps. 

As part of the Navy's Distance Support initiative, 
ChaplainCare provides round-the-clock access to chaplain support 
and religious information via an interactive web site, a specially developed CD for afloat 
units, and the Navy's Integrated Call Center (1-877-41-TOUCH or 

Designed to help Sailors, Marines and Coast Guard personnel 
in isolated locations find help online, ChaplainCare seeks to 
link service members with the right information, the right 
support, or the right person in a timely manner. 

Check it out for yourself and discover a wealth of 
spiritual resources and religious information. You can also ask 
a question or request information via and 
receive a response within 24 hours. 

In case of a pastoral emergency there is a chaplain on-call 
via the Navy's Integrated Call Center. The site includes 
personal prayers, links to 18 daily devotions (including one in 

Spanish) , over 120 devotions written by Navy chaplains, 
information on 22 religions and links to over 400 other faith 
groups . 

ChaplainCare cannot take the place of a person to person 
encounter with a real chaplain, but is meant to expand access to 
religious information and spiritual resources to Navy, Marine 
and Coast Guard personnel who do not have ready access to a 
chaplain . 


Headline : NH Bremerton wins at Joint Medical Olympics 
By J02 Michael Hewlett, Naval Hospital Bremerton 

BREMERTON, Wa - The four military hospitals in the Puget 
Sound area recently competed in the second annual Joint Medical 
Olympics . 

Teams from Naval Hospital Bremerton, Naval Hospital Oak 
Harbor, Madigan Army Medical Center, and McChord Air Force Base 
put their skills in field medicine to work during events 
designed to test their teamwork and knowledge. 

Events came down to the wire as the two Navy teams were 
tied going into the last event . The spread came down to a 
difference of two points. Naval Hospital Bremerton repeated 
their victory and kept the trophy. 

The main theme of the Olympics was teamwork. However, the 
biggest display of teamwork came from the two Navy teams, that 
rooted for each other during the events. "To me, the best 

part of the whole thing was the teamwork we showed. We came out 
and did a great job, but overall it was great to see the Navy 
come out in the top two places, " said Naval Hospital Bremerton 
Team Captain Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class (FMF) Patrick Link. 

The challenges presented to the teams consisted of a CPR 
competition, combat casualty obstacle course, a written exam, 
tent building competition, chemical suit dressing race and 
patient carry relay race. 

The obstacle course was the main draw of the competition. 
Five team members, selected from a hat at the start of the 
competition, carried a litter loaded with a 150 pound dummy 
through a mile of wooded hillside in a race against time. Along 
the course were mock patients with fake wounds. The teams had to 
stop and help each patient . The wounds varied from bullet wounds 
to broken bones, and included costume effects such as visible 
organs. Close by each "patient" was a judge who graded each team 
on its performance. Hits for mistakes added time to their final 
total in the race. 

"It was not only a physical challenge, but a mental one, " 
said Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class (FMF) Casey Jacobs, from the 
Naval Hospital Bremerton team. 

Oak Harbor showed their prowess in the written exam, 
winning that competition. 

The Air Force pulled out a victory in the relay race, but 
it wasn't enough to escape last place. 

Next year's competition will be hosted by the Air Force and 
will take place at McChord Air Force Base, where the teams will 
once again go head to head for the yearlong title of top in 

field medicine . 


Headline : Anesthesiologist is a wonder who puts Sailors under 
By JOS Paul Newell, USS George Washington 

USS GEORGE WASHINGTON - Lt . David DiSanto, MC, USN, loves 
to relax. Whether he's out fishing the coastal waters of 
Pensacola or playing the piano, DiSanto has made a hobby out of 
mellowing, which is probably one of the reasons he chose to 
become an anesthesiologist. 

Unfortunately, being an anesthesiologist isn't all that 

"You have to be very careful when administering anesthetics 
to a patient. You have to know what drugs to use and how much to 
use according to their weight, " said DiSanto. "Then during 
surgery, you must stay alert and make sure your patient keeps 
breathing. " 

DiSanto has spent years studying and preparing for the job 
he performs aboard USS George Washington. But he will tell you 
too, that anesthesiology hasn't been a life-long dream. In fact, 
long before choosing scrubs and an operating room to conduct his 
business, DiSanto desperately wanted to fly jets. 

"When I entered ROTC at the University of Rochester in 
1987, I planned on being a Naval aviator, " DiSanto said. "But 
when my eyesight went below 20/20, I had to find a new 
profession . " So he chose medicine because he had done well in 
several biochemistry classes. 

Determined to take advantage of his scholarship, DiSanto 
applied for and, after eight years of study, successfully became 
the first NROTC midshipman to graduate from medical school at 
the University of Rochester. 

After graduation, he headed to the Dwight D. Eisenhower 
Army Medical Center in Ft. Gordon, Ga., for his internship as an 
anesthesiologist assistant . After his time there, he was sent 
to Bethesda, Md. , for his three-year residency, an experience 
that left him working many 20-hour days. 

But when he recently heard about the chance to come to a 
carrier for three months, he jumped at it . 

As the GW's only anesthesiologist, his presence is 
requested anytime a medical situation warrants. But DiSanto 
isn't only knocking his patients out for a spell; his job 
encompasses other aspects of the medical world. 

"I also work with those suffering from chronic pain. 
Sometimes I have to use chemicals to numb nerves with my 
patients, other times I use different drugs. I deal with a lot 
of lower back pain, post surgical and trauma patients . Whatever 
it takes to make them safely pain— free and able to get back to 
work is what I 'm interested in providing for them, " Disanto 

With ambition to help his fellow shipmate, professional 
attitude and a zeal for life on the sea, DiSanto is a doctor 
Sailors want to keep around. 

"The most important thing in being an anesthesiologist is 
knowing your limitations and to never be overconfident, " Disanto 

said. "If you stick to that philosophy, you'll be less inclined 
to get in trouble. " 

Sailors should be confident in DiSanto. Not only does the 
doctor have a spotless professional record, he really seems to 
care about those with which he works. 


Headline: Great Lakes pulls together for disaster drill 
By Lt . Youssef H. Aboul—Enein, Naval Hospital Great Lakes 

GREAT LAKES, 111. - Twenty-nine students from Naval 
Hospital Corps School participated in a city-run disaster drill 
at the Great America Amusement Park, this month. 

NTC Great Lakes is part of the Metropolitan Chicago 
Healthcare Council, a consortium of over 120 hospitals in the 
Chicago area. The city conducts between five and six disaster 
drills a year. 

The Navy participants acted as casualties and bystanders 
providing a realistic exercise for Gurnee Fire Department and 
the five area hospitals participating in the disaster drill. 

"This gives us an opportunity to pool our resources and 
expertise, particularly in preparing for a disaster or city— wide 
mass casualty, " said CAPT Raymond Swisher, MSC, Naval Hospital 
Great Lakes Executive Officer . 

"The scenario was a violent storm that collapsed buildings 
in the amusement park causing debris and injuries from flying 
objects, " said HM2 (FMF) Howard Dillon, the liaison between the 
naval base and the community hospitals participating in the 
drill . 

LCDR Gregory Jacobs, NC, and HM2 (FMF) Jessie Cabeyadao from 
Naval Hospital Corps School provided on-scene leadership and 
accounting for all students that participated in the drill. 

"The drill lasted from 7:00 to 11:00 a.m. and although a 
light rain descended on Great Lakes that day, it did not dampen 
the spirits of the Corps School students who volunteered to be 
moulaged casualties, " Jacobs said. 

"[The training] helps us put a pulse on what the Great 
Lakes fire, emergency and medical organizations are doing to 
respond to disasters, " said CAPT Swisher. 


Headline: TRICARE question and answer 

Question : I am participating in TRICARE Standard. Do I need 
to pay for my medical expenses up front, or will the doctor bill 
TRICARE directly? 

Answer: Under TRICARE Standard, depending upon your 
provider, you may be required to pay for your share of the 
medical treatment up front. If you go to a doctor who 
participates in the Extra network, your out-of-pocket costs will 
be less than with Standard and you will not have to file claims. 


Headline: Healthwatch: Nutritious reading benefits health 
From Bureau of Medicine and Surgery 

One of the most important guidelines for wise food shopping 

is to read food labels carefully. Most food labels provide a 
list of ingredients, and many also give additional information 
about the nutritional value of the contents. 

The nutrients listed often include calories, fat, 
cholesterol, sodium, protein, other vitamins, and minerals . When 
looking at any list of ingredients, remember that ingredients 
are in order of their relative weight . The first ingredient is 
the one that makes up the greatest part of the product . The last 
ingredient on the list represents the smallest part of the 
product, and the others represent amounts in between. 

Food labels provide nutritional information for a typical 
single serving rather than for the entire package or can, 
unless, of course, that makes up one serving. The serving size 
is an important measurement, since not all people eat the same 
amount of food at a single setting. Try to gauge how close the 
serving size is to your own eating habits in order to calculate 
how many nutrients you'll be receiving at each meal. 

Food labels also show the amount of certain nutrients per 
serving along with the percent daily value (DV) . The DV is based 
on a 2, 000-calorie diet and is the percentage of each nutrient 
believed to meet the needs of the average person each day. For 
example, if a certain food provides 50 percent of the DV for 
vitamin C, one serving gives a person half the vitamin C needed 
per day. 

The little bit of time you spend reading labels at the 
supermarket can yield tremendous health benefits . Compare brand 
names to find the highest nutritional value at a reasonable 
cost . 

Finally, don't forget to read the lists of nutrients that 
may be posted near fresh, unprocessed foods, such as in the meat 
and produce sections of many supermarkets. You'll soon become an 
expert in filling your nutritional needs. 


Correction: Last week's MEDNEWS listed Capt. Gary W. Zuckerman, 
use, as Commanding Officer of Naval Hospital Bremerton. Capt. 
Zuckerman is the Commanding Officer at Naval Hospital Beaufort . 


Comments and ideas for MEDNEWS are welcome. Story Submissions 
are highly encouraged. Contact MEDNEWS editor. At email:; telephone 202—762—3218, (dsn) 762, or 
fax 202-762-3224.